General Laboratory Competency
On February 23, 2004, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) Science and Technology Policy Council (STPC) approved a new Policy Directive developed by the Forum on Environmental Measurement (FEM), Assuring the Competency of Environmental Protection Agency Laboratories (PDF)About PDF. All EPA operated laboratories, including Agency owned, contractor operated facilities must to address the specific items listed in the Laboratory Quality System Components section of the Policy Directive as well as maintain a documented quality system that meets the existing specifications of the EPA Quality System as defined in EPA Order CIO 2105.0 (i.e., formally known as EPA Order 5360.1), Policy and Program Requirements for the Mandatory Agency-wide Quality System (PDF)About PDF. All laboratories will demonstrate adherence to their quality system through periodic independent assessments and by participation in inter-laboratory comparisons. In addition, where appropriate accreditation programs are available for one or more components of a given laboratory's operations, the laboratory will seek accreditation for those components.
In the Agency’s continued effort to ensure the quality and validity of environmental measurement data, an EPA policy titled, Policy to Assure Competency of Laboratories, Field Sampling, and Other Organizations Generating Environmental Measurement Data under Agency-Funded Acquisitions (PDF) (3 pp, 167K, About PDF), was issued on March 28, 2011. All organizations performing environmental analysis for the Agency shall demonstrate their qualifications in the field(s) of analyses to be conducted, prior to performing such analyses, under Agency-funded acquisitions. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Acquisitions (PDF) (9 pp, 153K, About PDF), document is also available to assist in the implementation of this policy.
A second policy titled, Policy to Assure the Competency of Organizations Generating Environmental Measurement Data under Agency-Funded Assistance Agreements or Interagency Agreements (PDF), (4 pp, 85K, About PDF) was approved by the Science Technology Policy Council (STPC) on December 12, 2012 with implementation criteria approved on March 13, 2013. A Federal Register Notice announcing the Policy will require implementation of the Policy to take effect on May 15, 2013. All organizations performing environmental analysis for the Agency shall demonstrate their qualifications in the field(s) of analyses to be conducted, prior to performing such analyses, under Agency-funded assistance agreements or interagency agreements (if applicable). A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Agreements (PDF) (11 pp, 295K, About PDF) document is also available and will continue to be updated in conjunction with the Office of Grants and Debarment to assist in the implementation of this policy.
The four webinars listed below will be open for anyone wishing to ask questions about the Policy and questions from the webinars will be integrated into the FAQs above, as appropriate.
|Monday, June 3||1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET)||866-299-3188/5874952464#;||https://epa.connectsolutions.com/r80jghj8wpk/|
|Wednesday, June 26||10:00 – 11:00 am (ET)||866-299-3188/5874952464#;||https://epa.connectsolutions.com/r2sbef21hza/|
|Thursday, July 25||2:00 – 3:00 pm (ET)||866-299-3188/5874952464#;||https://epa.connectsolutions.com/r8iz0x6bfy1/|
|Monday, August 19||11:00 – Noon (ET)||866-299-3188/5874952464#;||https://epa.connectsolutions.com/r26ozelwnhn/|